How to Build Muscle With Group Fitness

Posted by Shelley Dawson

Building Muscle in Group Fitness Instructor

So, you want to work on those Gains?! We like it! We support it, and we want to help!

If you like the idea of a killer playlist, community, and an educated instructor to guide you through a workout, Group Fitness classes can be a great place to build strength and work on muscle mass.

Jump in and let's take a ride. Keeping our eyes open as we explore the ins and outs of how group fitness classes can be a driving force on your way to a more muscular body!

1st Stop- Get an Understanding of How You Build Muscle

To make it simple, we need to understand that consistent exercising with resistance (body weight, bands, weights, etc.) will induce muscle fibers' growth, which is creating the body of the muscle. The muscle needs to have progressive overload (the resistance) and fatigue, which will create muscle damage.

This might sound harsh or like it is a bad thing, whereas, in reality, the muscle damage will allow for muscle repair (which is what we need for muscle growth). The body will repair the muscle tissue creating a stronger muscle, and the cycle repeats. Overload, fatigue, damage, repair! Part of the muscle repair will also come from a good nutrition plan. Make sure to consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, or personal trainer to get tips, advice, or meal plans to complement your workout schedule.

2nd Stop- Choose Your Classes Wisely

Group Fitness has a variety of options for strength-focused workouts. If you're stuck on the cardio train, it might be time to derail and change up what classes you are attending. Strength-based classes can offer great results in building lean muscle mass and assisting you on that muscle-building journey. Be on the lookout for these types of classes:

Core Strengthening-

Broaden your perspective when it comes to core training. We are not just talking abdominal muscles here but everything from the bottom rib down to the hamstrings with all the muscles in-between. When these muscles start to gain strength, it will help improve all other activities we engage in in-class and out.

A strong core can help improve posture, alleviate back pain, help with balance, and make you more efficient in everyday activities. These muscles are also the first to contract when lifting weights. A strong core will allow for more force (heavier lifting). Pilates and TRX are a great example of core strengthening classes. Keep an eye out for these formats the next time you check the group fitness schedule.

Barbell Classes-

These industry favorites are a great way to build muscle and burn fat. Barbell classes tend to use relatively light to moderate weight plates attached to both sides with the two-hand barbell. Classes will focus on specific muscle groups and incorporate lots of repetition. This, combined with great music, a steady tempo, and a few breaks, will keep you motivated and engaged.

While also creating the perfect storm for developing athletic, lean muscle without heavy lifting. Another benefit besides a toned strengthened body is that of joint health. These classes are great for improving joint health, whereas they are supported by the muscles they interface. Body Pump by Les Mills is an excellent option for group fit barbell classes.


The efficient use of body weight is the key to these possibly underestimated muscle-building classes. Yoga is not all about the stretch! Using progressive overload and incorporating metabolic stress is a great way to engage the muscle building process in a Yoga class naturally. An example of this would be to use different pose progression.

Let’s take Chaturanga, for example, if we start on the knees and progressing to the toes, that would be progressively more difficult. The progression to the toes creates more tension on the muscle, which equals more muscle growth. If you are maxed out on progressions, another great way to build muscle in a yoga class is to increase volume.

If you are already doing chaturangas on your toes, how about increasing those Sun Salutations from 3 to 4. Think of volume as increasing the number of reps you do. Increasing the volume, in turn, increases muscle growth. Poses such as crow, warrior’s, and chair create great tension in the body to break down muscle fibers. These types of poses also break down different muscle fibers than what is being used when lifting weights or using resistance bases equipment. This is a bonus win for muscle growth! With the flexibility and mindfulness that accompanies a yoga class, it is a no brainer to add to your strength-building schedule! Check out Core Power Yoga for a variety of strength-building yoga classes.

Muscle Conditioning or Sculpt Classes-

These classes will keep the focus on strength and, at times, intermix short cardio bursts. Sculpting classes will use a variety of training modalities such as kettlebells, hand weights, or resistance bands to mix up the training regimen. You will likely find that a wide range of movement is offered in these classes to work the entire body!

A sculpt class's major benefits will include being low impact on joints, help prevent bone loss, and boost metabolism. These, combined with stronger physic, make sculpt classes a win-win! Check out 24 hours Strength Training Studio class for a great muscle conditioning format.

3rd Stop- Patience and Consistency

This might be a long ride, but if muscle growth is the end goal, stick with it! Muscle growth is a slow process. It just takes time, and there is no way around it. Knowing that little piece of information also makes group fitness classes a great place to start.

Surrounded by like-minded people with the same intention can be a great motivator to keep you coming to class. That is a positive for sure! Now is the time to take the wheel and get moving on that journey to a strong body and muscle growth, using group fitness as a vehicle for fun while you’re at it!

Topics: Group Fitness, exercise science

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